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The Knowledge of God and the Service of God according to the Teaching of the Reformation 1937–1938

Karl Barth


Table of Contents


Barth presents a series of twenty lectures divided into two sections. The first is concerned with Reformed teaching on the knowledge of God, and the second on the Reformed teachings on the service of God. While the primary intention of Lord Gifford was for the lectures to be delivered on the subject of natural theology, Barth presents a sermon on Reformed theology as it stands in direct conflict with the tenets of natural theology. Drawing on Articles from the Scottish Confession of 1560, Barth details the knowledge of God and man we can have and the manner in which we might know it according to Reformed theology. Knowledge of the nature of God and manís nature and relation to God can only be established in the revelation of God through Jesus Christ. The potential worth and purpose of man can only be understood in light of this, according to Barth. In Part II, Barth explores Reformed teachings on the service of God as must be undertaken through the one true Church, which has Jesus Christ as its founder, sustainer and figurehead. From the revelation of God springs the Church that serves God in order to meet this revelation anew. For the Reformed theologian, the foundation for all knowledge of God is prayer, and it is in this claim that Barth locates the principle antagonism with natural theology.
Sam Addison
University of Aberdeen
KEY WORDS: Church, Faith, God, Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, Judgement, Man, Natural theology, New Testament, Predestination, Reformed teaching, Revelation, Sacraments, Salvation, Scottish Confession

Publication Data

OnlineHodder and Stoughton1955
OriginalHodder and Stoughton1938
Not Available
Templeton Press